Subacute myelo-optic neuropathy

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Subacute myelo-optic neuropathy (SMON) is a disease that affects the human nervous system, mainly the spinal nerves. It originally appeared in Japan in the 1950's, affecting nearly 100,000 people[1]. For a decade and a half the Japanese public and its medical doctors were lead to believe it to be an infectious disease by overzealous virus hunters. Eventually, it was realized that doctors were accidentally causing the disease by prescribing the medication clioquinol.

It is an example of an iatrogenic disease. Iatrogenesis is a condition where the source of medical complications is from a doctor or the medical establishment. Familiar historical examples include blood-letting.

Peter Duesberg has pointed to SMON as the kind of widespread error that the medical community can make when diagnosing diseases.

Further reading

  • "SUBACUTE MYELO-OPTIC NEUROPATHY IS NOT A SPECIAL FORM OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS", The Lancet, Volume 320, Issue 8292, 31 July 1982, Page 267, Reisaku Kono, Yoshigoro Kuroiwa
  • "THE S.M.O.N. VIRUS THEORY", The Lancet, Volume 306, Issue 7930, 23 August 1975, Pages 370-371, Reisaku Kono
  • "RELATION BETWEEN SUBACUTE MYELO-OPTIC NEUROPATHY (S.M.O.N.) AND CLIOQUINOL: NATIONWIDE SURVEY", The Lancet, Volume 301, Issue 7796, 27 January 1973, Pages 171-173, Reisaku Kono

References

  1. Subacute myelo-optic neuropathy and clioquinol. An epidemiological case-history for diagnosis; T.W. Meade
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